Hi, it’s me again, Lucky. I wrote last year when I did my very first horse show. And I wanted to update everyone, as I’ve gone to another horse show and this one was even more interesting! I made Mom cry again, I survived the Aisle of Death like three times, and got even more blue ribbons and a cool one with three primary colors and a picture frame (but no picture yet for it, that’s Mom’s department.)

Nice Guy (Lucky) with Holly at the Thoroughbred show, photo by Kim Wright

Nice Guy (Lucky) with Holly at the Thoroughbred show, photo by Kim Wright

Let me tell you what happened. It went like this. The cold winter. Hay, hay, hay. Mud, mud, mud. (That doesn’t stop me from rolling every day, though.) Then finally a few warm days and here she comes with the dressage saddle. Ride, ride, ride. I reminded her of my athletic ability a few times when the wind got my tail. That did not stop her. She kept riding me.

Then it got interesting. Transitions, transitions. I just get trotting, now I have to stop. I just get a good free walk, I have to trot again. Sheesh, what is this? Canter on the circle, canter a straight line. Halt, walk, trot, canter. I was a little annoyed with all this switching around at first, then I figured it out — when that half halt comes, just slow down. That really made her happy. (It’s actually a bit more complicated than just “slow down”, but you guys out there that are competing at like Third Level and stuff, you know what I mean, unless you are a warmblood and can’t speak Thoroughbred, in that case, so what, can’t help you.)

Anyhow, I am getting quite the dressage expert. So she obviously entered me in a horse show, so I looked around in turnout for a stick or something to poke my leg on. I tried to lose a shoe. I scratched my rear end on the barn and tried to remove most of the hair on my butt. She wasn’t buying it. I still had to go. Darn it.

Saturday was clear and not raining, so in the trailer I went. Wow, it was a bit nerve wracking at first. I wasn’t entirely sure we weren’t actually going back to the track again, but we arrived shortly at a nice place with good footing and lots of horses. I got out of the trailer and stood pretty good I thought (only walked over Mom once) for tacking up. I walked around the horse trailer and HOLY COW look at all those horses! I whinnied to be friendly and guess what! THEY ALL SPOKE THOROUGHBRED! (http://www.theideaoforder.com/) I was impressed! (It was the Thoroughbred Festival Horse Show at Winterplace Park in Salisbury, Maryland, Apr. 5, 2014). Oh so this is really cool. I was very friendly all day.

Thoroughbreds everywhere! photo by Kim Wright

Thoroughbreds everywhere! photo by Kim Wright

So first thing, I can’t stop and watch all the fun in the warmup rings, and the horses jumping on both sides of me, I have to walk through the Aisle of Death. There is a tent. There is a judge under the tent. There is a wheelchair person. There are several stroller persons. There is a food place and a carrot place and people food and cars and golf carts. And people walking. OMG! Why do I have to go through here? I did not want to. I tried to turn around and go back to the trailer, but Mom kept her leg on and kept me walking. All the horses I was trying to be friendly with where BACK THERE by the trailer. Finally a friend of Mom’s, Kim Wright, and a nice chestnut mare that looked like Secretariat (Katahtitude) came walking along with me and I got through it. Thanks, Kim!

So that was done, I figured the show was over, so imagine my surprise when I have to go in a soft sandy ring and start doing the circles and the transitions again. But Mom, I want to look at the dogs on the leashes walking the people around the park, the baby strollers, the picnic people at the table next to the ring, and other stuff. Really, I really have to go on the bit? O.K., just to please you, I’ll do it for a while. So it was same as the stuff we work on at home, and then we went inside a white chain-sided arena, and went around, same stuff, and then stopped and a nice lady talked to Mommy and made her cry. I don’t think it was bad stuff, I think it was good stuff that made her cry. Then I got lots of pets and hung out, and let another horse go in the white chain part.

I got another chance inside that ring and tried even harder for Mom, but I got a little tired at the end. No matter, she was very happy with me, I am sure. She gave me lots of pets and I ate many carrots. I think I got a whole bag. And I stayed friendly and it was so nice to talk Thoroughbred all day. I think every horse there was Thoroughbred, so it was very nice.

I got my tack off and just hung out eating grass with Mom for a while watching my new friends and had a pretty good time. I am actually thinking this horse show thing looks pretty O.K. Mom just doesn’t need to cry any more. I am not going to make her cry, she works hard and I think she deserves some fun. Maybe next time we’ll spice it up a little and I can show off my athleticism, ya think? And the jumping part looked pretty fun, too. I bet I could do that next time.

—Lucky

(Lucky’s registered name is Nice Guy, and he is an OTTB being retrained by HJU blogger Holly Covey. He writes occasionally when bribed with enough carrots. He actually won both his Training Level tests, with 68.04 and 70.03 percent, and was Champion of the division at this show!)